Stranger in Town by Cheryl Bradshaw
12th January 2020. 5 stars
I’m a fan of this series featuring Sloane Monroe, a feisty, no-nonsense private eye with a heart of gold and a sly sense of humour. With each novel I learn more about her, her past and what drives her.
This is the joy of a series. Pretty much like in real life, you get to know the characters a bit better the more time you spend with them. So it goes without saying that it’s worth starting with the first in the series, Black Diamond Death. (You can check out my review here).
In this fourth outing, Sloane’s hired by the parent of a missing girl, abducted a couple of years earlier. There are links to second missing girl, but no clues to where they are, what’s happened or if they’re alive. Determined to get to the truth, Sloane sets out to investigate. Almost immediately, she clashes with the law, particularly Cade McCoy, who resents her intrusion into police work.
But Sloane’s not easily put off and starts to dig, uncovering small leads. The pace picks up. She and McCoy race to find the girls before the FBI takes over the investigation.
The direct, no nonsense style makes for a brisk pace with just the right amount of detail, backstory and humour. All the characters are well-drawn and engaging, the investigations realistic with plenty of challenges to test Sloane. Her personal life is also shifting and changing, posing more issues to resolve, leaving plenty to look forward to in the next story.
I would recommend this novel and series to anyone who wants entertaining crime fiction at the cosier end of the scale, particularly if you’re a fan of Sue Grafton or Sara Patesky.
A frantic mother runs up and down the aisles of Maybelle’s Market, desperately searching for her missing daughter.
But she’s far too late. Six-year-old Olivia is already gone, already in the arms of a stranger. Will private investigator Sloane Monroe find her before it’s too late?